How do I run PhantomJS on AWS Lambda with NodeJS


Solution 1

EDIT: This no longer works. This is an apparent solution.

Here is a complete code sample of a simple PhantomJS process, which is launched as a NodeJS child_process. It is also available on github.


var childProcess = require('child_process');
var path = require('path');

exports.handler = function(event, context) {

    // Set the path as described here:
    process.env['PATH'] = process.env['PATH'] + ':' + process.env['LAMBDA_TASK_ROOT'];

    // Set the path to the phantomjs binary
    var phantomPath = path.join(__dirname, 'phantomjs_linux-x86_64');

    // Arguments for the phantom script
    var processArgs = [
        path.join(__dirname, 'phantom-script.js'),
       'my arg'

    // Launc the child process
    childProcess.execFile(phantomPath, processArgs, function(error, stdout, stderr) {
        if (error) {
        if (stderr) {


var system = require('system');
var args = system.args;

// Example of how to get arguments passed from node script
// args[0] would be this file's name: phantom-script.js
var unusedArg = args[1];

// Send some info node's childProcess' stdout
system.stdout.write('hello from phantom!')


To get a PhantomJS binary that works with Amazon's Linux machine's, go to the PhantomJS Bitbucket Page and download phantomjs-1.9.8-linux-x86_64.tar.bz2.

Solution 2

A generic solution is to use an actual AWS Linux machine to install the npm modules and transfer them to your lambda executable. Here are the steps:

  1. spin up an EC2 instance
  2. ssh into EC2
  3. install Node + npm
  4. install the required npm modules
  5. zip them up
  6. fetch them to your local machine with scp
  7. unzip and copy to the npm_modules folder of your lambda function (don't npm install locally!)
  8. upload your code to Lambda

Here is a tutorial with links to further resources: Compile node module libraries for AWS Lambda

This also works in such cases when PhantomJS is a dependency of another node module, eg. node-webshot and you have less influence on what is being installed.


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Updated on August 20, 2022


  • Tyler
    Tyler 5 months

    After not finding a working answer anywhere else on the internet, I am submitting this ask-and-answer-myself tutorial

    How can I get a simple PhantomJS process running from a NodeJS script on AWS Lambda? My code works fine on my local machine, but I run into different problems trying to run it on Lambda.

  • Dave Maple
    Dave Maple almost 6 years
    Fantastic answer @Tyler.
  • Vikas
    Vikas almost 6 years
    @Tyler In the same I implemented my code. Everything is going fine except that it is showing me process exited before completion. Can i know what is causing this issue??
  • geotheory
    geotheory almost 5 years
    Thank you. Much more helpful than the accepted answer.
  • Rana Ghosh
    Rana Ghosh over 3 years
    This doesn't work anymore. Here's a more up to date answer: